What You Can Do To Recognize May as Mental Health Month

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Now that it is May, we all prepare to enjoy the rebirth of the plants and trees, and those of us in cold climates get outside and start to experience our neighborhoods and communities in a more meaningful way. It’s also a great time to recognize that May is Mental Health Month. As someone who works in the field of health and wellness, you may wonder what the best way is to recognize mental health month. Below are some ideas that you and your organization can do to call attention to mental health and the services you offer.

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Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

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Screening for Mental Health is proud to be partnering with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to raise awareness about the importance of the emotional wellbeing and mental health among children for the 11th annual National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. This year’s theme, “Finding Help, Finding Hope,” focuses on how to increase access to services for adolescents who experience mental health and substance use disorders.

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The Power of One

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Ashley Olafsen was just a regular high school student who struggled with low self esteem. She started to realize that she was not alone, and wanted to take action. Today, she is a leader in the youth mental health movement.

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Childhood Experiences and Lifetime Health

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We tell students to think about mental health just as you would physical health- both require treatment. Yet we still often see these two sides of health as separate and distinct. And we rarely discuss the way that child’s life experiences impact both their mental and physical health over their lifetimes. We now know that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) such as abuse, neglect and parents who struggle with mental health or substance use affects a child’s developing brain, and their future mental and physical health outcomes.

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Supporting Transgender Students on Campus

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College is a crucial time for students to investigate and establish their identities. As a culture, we are moving toward a place where more and more individuals are openly questioning the stereotypical ideas of “male” and “female.” For gender variant youth, college may be the first opportunity where they feel comfortable enough to question and explore their gender identity openly. While coming out as transgender can be a positive experience, research shows that transgender youth experience more severe struggles relating to mental health concerns and suicide compared to non-transgender youth.

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Normalizing Mental Health Check-ups

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Screening for Mental Health’s newest initiative, the MindKare Kiosk, seeks to make checking in on one’s mental health mainstream and place resources in the hands of the public. The freestanding kiosk features a touch screen display that allows users easy access to mental health screenings, provides immediate feedback assessing mental health, connects users with local and campus resources, and offers information on common mental health issues. Privacy settings on the display ensure that users can take screenings in public but have their answers and results remain confidential and anonymous.

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